I love NYC (don’t you?) and try to visit every couple of months. I have lots of “favorite” hotels and am always trying a new one for the experience and in hopes of finding that perfect match for my clients. The big 5-stars are easy, but I also like to have an inside on the boutiques, the contemporaries, or simply a bargain in the neighborhood of choice depending on the client’s desires. Of course, most of my clients like the 5- star or full-service boutiques which is my preference as well…I cannot say that I have honestly tried all the bargain beds in NYC.
Each hotel offers something different, be it location, kid or pet friendly, room size, amenities, etc. It is truly hard to get all in one shot and best to decide the purpose of this NYC trip, picking a hotel accordingly. You know you will be back so try something new and try staying in a different area of the city from time to time. You will be surprised what you find and how nice it is to step out of your comfort zone.
One of my more fun trips to NYC was when my husband and I went to the pre-opening of the CROSBY STREET HOTEL (http://www.firmdale.com/ ) in Soho. WOW! Check it out for yourself for some true luxury. I felt like my bedroom at home had been transposed to NYC, though only better: gorgeous cozy rooms and stellar service, bright colors, and great public spaces throughout the hotel. Best of all was that we were in SOHO and never went beyond walking distance our entire stay. We walked the HIGH LINE, visited cool art galleries, strolled in and out of countless shops, and ate at hip, fun dining venues. One of the best French bistros in America (or France?), Balthazar, is half a block away. http:www.balthazarny.com/
For another area out of my so-called “comfort zone,” our family just spent three nights over our girls spring break at the SETAI HOTEL (a Capella Managed hotel http://setaififthavenue.com/ ) located at Fifth Avenue and 36th Street. This very chic, contemporary and sophisticated property is more than 60 stories high. The rooms and stellar amenities raise the bar on service and can compete with any hotel in the city. In fact, our closest area was large enough for a twin bed and I woke each day and worked on my computer in there to avoid waking the rest of the family…they are so spoiled!
The hotel offers some extraordinary accoutrements, including the Ai Fiori Signature restaurant and bar, the well-renowned Aurgia Spa, Julien Farel salon and a state of the art fitness and spa facility. It is so easy to be lured into this hotel’s spacious rooms and amenities that you will not want to leave. However, the great lighting and spectacular views of the city will remind you of what is just outside your door.
While the location might not be as central as the familiar stomping grounds of the St Regis, Peninsula, Ritz Central Park, or The Plaza, I found the new Setai to be a great alternative for those seeking LARGE rooms and a location out of the main drag of Midtown. It is only two blocks from the Empire State Building and halfway down to the chic shops and restaurants of SOHO. Best of all, it is within walking distance to the Theatre District.
I personally would not suggest this hotel to families with smaller kids as I felt it had a more “adult” feel to it and not a lot of public space for kids to hang out. On that same note, Anna, our 13 year old says it was her favorite hotel ever. She wanted to add the following:
The Setai hotel is now my new favorite hotel! I loved this hotel because it is really nice and more modern than what I always think of when I enter a hotel. Whenever I go to a hotel and I am about to enter my room I imagine something small with 2 queen beds that have dark green flower comforters. Nothing too exciting. This room was the exact opposite!
It was big with 2 king beds with white comforters and a tan blanket at the end of the bed. The bathroom was big and had a huge deep bathtub, a shower, a big counter with 2 sinks, and a toilet. Plus many more cool things!
I thought it was amazing when I first saw it. It was literally a dream room. It was modern, big, had lots of space and even more it had a little hallway with closets that led to the bathroom opposed to one room with a door to the bathroom!
Some “housekeeping” notes are that we found the best concierge to be Brian Fahey. He had great dining suggestions, was quick on responding and overall very friendly. I did have a few service issues initially with some of the other concierges not responding to requests but Brian is your “go-to man!” I think some of the minor service issues are de rigueur for a new hotel and I would expect them to be easily worked out.
Some favorite picks on the dining front from Brian were LANDMARC at Time Warner Center (love the one in Tribeca, too), brunch at The Mark restaurant by Jean Georges at the MARK HOTEL, and experiencing EATALY. Make sure to save time for a drink at the BAR at the Setai with live music after 8pm nightly –it is a fun way to kick off or end your evening. J